Two veterans show they still have plenty to offer

\"\"Caption: Ed (right) and Darren Makowiecki after Split Sound took top place in a 431m Masters/5th Grade at Ipswich recently (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)

By DAVID BRASCH

JUST a week before 71-year-old Ed Makowiecki landed his first ever winner as a trainer, he had to be rushed to hospital to have a cardiac stent replaced.

So, when Split Sound (Dyna Lachlan-Split System) headed to the boxes for a 431m Masters/5th Grade at Ipswich in May after 123 previous race starts, it certainly was a case of two veterans taking on the world.

Split Sound landed the race in a slow 25.70, not that the time mattered one little bit to Ed.

\”I was over the moon,\” said Ed of landing his first ever winner. \”I gave her a chance of winning, sure did.

\”Unless you have been in the circumstances of winning your first ever race, you cannot explain just how it feels. \”I got goose bumps. It was just a wonderful experience. Yes, I got emotional.\”

Not that Ed at 71 is any novice in greyhound racing.

He\’s been son Darren\’s ‘strapper’ for the past eight years.

\”We started off with a dog called Secret Daddy and it earned us the grand total of $30,\” said Ed. \”There are plenty of disappointments in this game.\”

It wasn\’t until Ed and Darren latched onto Split System as a broodbitch that their fortunes changed and they have not looked back since.

Split Sound had been a better than handy dog for the kennel over the past couple of years. She had run well in a Newcastle Cup series and was a multiple city winner among her nine wins and 43 placings.

Darren suggested his dad take over her training.

\”I\’d had a handler\’s license for eight years, but Darren prompted me to undertake the trainer\’s course at Deagon,\” said Ed. \”I brought Split Sound home and nursed her along as the only dog in my kennel for the past couple of months.\”

Now Ed has four in his kennel, the other trio young ones getting ready to race.

As for the cardiac stent, it goes back to an Alaskan holiday he had a few years ago.

\”It started with breathing problems and when I went to my doctor he found my heart was 98 percent blocked,\” said Ed. \”I was rushed in the next day to have six stents put in. I was a walking time bomb.

\”But, a week before Split Sound won at Ipswich one of those stents played up and it had to be replaced.\”

Ed spent 23 years in the Army, but on discharge he wondered just what he would do to stay fit.

\”An officer said to me at the time that because I loved dogs, why not get a greyhound,\” said Ed.

\”Darren and I bought a dog, but it was not too successful.\”

How things have changed!

The success of Split System\’s litters has turned Darren and Ed into successful trainers.

Now Ed is looking to keep Split Sound going until it is time for her to start breeding herself.

\”She can keep racing until she tells me she has had enough and then we will breed with her,\” he said. \”But for now she can keep going. She\’s just coming right again.\”

Ed still is on hand to help Darren with his runners at Ipswich and Albion Park.

He\’s been doing a few trips to Bundaberg, but I don\’t need to go that far,\” said Ed.

Winners at Ipswich are right up his alley.

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